Vodacom Stormer centre Jaque Fourie believes Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Chiefs will be another tough challenge for the side, but one that they are capable of winning.
Fourie joined the Stormers at the end of last season and in his first year he became one of the stalwarts of a side that is on a serious quest for a semi-final berth. The Springbok midfielder and the other big name recruit, wing Bryan Habana, have added experience and class to the Stormers backline.
Fourie said the game against the exciting Chiefs outfit will be tough. “We don’t just pitch up at Hamilton and win. It’s going to be hard work, but there are opportunities to exploit them. It will be 80 minutes of hard rugby, but if we take ball through phases and put them under pressure, we can win.”
The former Lions star had to deal with the attacking brilliance of Blues star Rene Ranger last weekend and this week he will be squaring up to Richard Kahui, who is a highly-rated player. But he was pragmatic about the task at hand.
“In the Super 14 you come up against very intelligent players week in and week out and I enjoy the challenge because you can measure yourself against those guys.
“Kahui is not as physical as Ranger and not that good a stepper, but that doesn’t make it easy this week.”
Last week he had renewed the successful midfield partnership with the promising Juan de Jongh, who was recovering from an elbow injury and missed the game against the Cheetahs and Western Force. Another youngster, Tim Whitehead, made his debut against the Cheetahs next to Fourie.
Fourie, like a true professional, has no problem adjusting to a new partner and in fact only has praise for the youngsters next to him. “It hasn’t been difficult. We’re all professional rugby players.
“Tim Whitehead has been amazing. He played brilliant rugby against the Cheetahs and Juan is getting better with every game that he plays.”
Another player that impressed Fourie was fullback Gio Aplon, who was in great attacking form against the Blues and proved a handful every time he touched the ball. “He is an excellent player with a huge amount of talent at fullback, and he did extremely well on the weekend.”
Fourie said the team decided to go back to basics after the disappointing performance against the Force and it worked for them against the Blues.
“After the game against the Force we went back to the basic stuff. We want to put teams under pressure and create opportunities to score tries.
“We worked on our basic stuff and we did it great against the Blues, and we won’t go away from what we did on the weekend in Auckland.”